Ludwig van Beethoven

Biography

Born: 1770, Germany   Died: 1827, Austria   Period: Classical, Romantic
The events of Beethoven's life are the stuff of Romantic legend, evoking images of the solitary creator shaking his fist at Fate and finally overcoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16, 1770, he received his early training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant to his teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe, then was Read more granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order to care for his two younger brothers as his father gave in to alcoholism. Beethoven played viola in various orchestras, becoming friends with other players such as Antoine Reicha, Nikolaus Simrock, and Franz Ries, and began taking on composition commissions. As a member of the court chapel orchestra, he was able to travel some and meet members of the nobility, one of whom, Count Ferdinand Waldstein, would become a great friend and patron to him. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 to study with Haydn; despite the prickliness of their relationship, Haydn's concise humor helped form Beethoven's style. His subsequent teachers in composition were Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Antonio Salieri. In 1794, he began his career in earnest as a pianist and composer, taking advantage whenever he could of the patronage of others. Around 1800, Beethoven began to notice his gradually encroaching deafness. His growing despondency only intensified his antisocial tendencies. However, the Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," of 1803 began a sustained period of groundbreaking creative triumph. In later years, Beethoven was plagued by personal difficulties, including a series of failed romances and a nasty custody battle over a nephew, Karl. Yet after a long period of comparative compositional inactivity lasting from about 1811 to 1817, his creative imagination triumphed once again over his troubles. Beethoven's late works, especially the last five of his 16 string quartets and the last four of his 32 piano sonatas, have an ecstatic quality in which many have found a mystical significance. Beethoven died in Vienna on March 26, 1827.

Beethoven's epochal career is often divided into early, middle, and late periods, represented, respectively, by works based on Classic-period models, by revolutionary pieces that expanded the vocabulary of music, and by compositions written in a unique, highly personal musical language incorporating elements of contrapuntal and variation writing while approaching large-scale forms with complete freedom. Though certainly subject to debate, these divisions point to the immense depth and multifariousness of Beethoven's creative personality. Beethoven profoundly transformed every genre he touched, and the music of the nineteenth century seems to grow from his compositions as if from a chrysalis. A formidable pianist, he moved the piano sonata from the drawing room to the concert hall with such ambitious and virtuosic middle-period works as the "Waldstein" (No. 21) and "Appassionata" (No. 23) sonatas. His song cycle An die ferne Geliebte of 1816 set the pattern for similar cycles by all the Romantic song composers, from Schubert to Wolf. The Romantic tradition of descriptive or "program" music began with Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6. Even in the second half of the nineteenth century, Beethoven still directly inspired both conservatives (such as Brahms, who, like Beethoven, fundamentally stayed within the confines of Classical form) and radicals (such as Wagner, who viewed the Ninth Symphony as a harbinger of his own vision of a total art work, integrating vocal and instrumental music with the other arts). In many ways revolutionary, Beethoven's music remains universally appealing because of its characteristic humanism and dramatic power. Read less

Beethoven: Complete String Quartets / Belcea Quartet
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Zig Zag  
Catalog: 344   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven, Mozart: Violin Concertos / Schneiderhan
Release Date: 02/13/1996   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 447403   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 8, 14 & 23 / Alfred Brendel
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 411470   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas / Igor Levit
Release Date: 11/05/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 370387   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Works For Solo Piano Vol 13: The Rage Over A Lost Penny / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 6076-6100 of 6359 Available Recordings
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  • 6076.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Roy Goodman, Hanover Band, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5144 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean Bailey,  Andrew Murgatroyd,  Michael George,  Eiddwen Harrhy
    Conductor:  Monica Huggett,  Roy Goodman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band,  Oslo Cathedral Choir
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  • 6077.
    Prima Voce - Chaliapin
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7823 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Ibert,  Alexander Grechaninov,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  George Godzinsky,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Cedric Sharpe,  Ivor Newton  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Ibert,  Nicolai Afonsky,  Max Steimann,  Lawrence Collingwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Metropolitan Church Choir Paris,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6078.
    Prima Voce - Divas Vol 1 (1906-1935)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7802 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Stefano Donaudy,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Claudia Muzio,  Maria Németh,  Eidé Noréna  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanford Robinson
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6079.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers At The Berlin State Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7848 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Hüsch,  Erna Berger,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Else Ruziczka  ... 
    Conductor:  Hanns Udo Müller,  Clemens Krauss,  Erich Orthmann,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6080.
    Prima Voce - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7847 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Edwin McArthur,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6081.
    Piano Classics - Popular Works For Solo Piano / O'Conor
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80313 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6082.
    Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Etc / Bruno Gelber
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 40841 Release Date: 11/13/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bruno-Leonardo Gelber
    CD: $22.49
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  • 6083.
    Beethoven: String Quartets Op 131 & 135 / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435779 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6084.
    Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol I
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5028 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6085.
    Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Vol Iii
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5056 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6086.
    Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Sonatas Vol 2
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5042 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6087.
    Beethoven: Complete Chamber Music For Flute / Jp Rampal
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5000 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Christian Larde,  Alain Marion  ... 
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  • 6088.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 4 / Alfred Brendel
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5060 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6089.
    Beethoven: Variations & Vignettes For Piano / Alfred Brendel
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3017 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6090.
    Spotlight On Flute - Cpe Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Et Al
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8746 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Stamitz,  Giovanni Platti  ... 
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  • 6091.
    Adagio 2 - A Collection Of Orchestral Classics
    Label: Celestial Harmonies   Catalog: 14052 Release Date: 11/03/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Unico Graf Van Wassenaer,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Max Bruch,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Iona Brown,  Lynn Harrell,  Maria Kliegel,  Jorge Bolet  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Michael Halász,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6092.
    Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Rondos, Etc / Louis Lortie
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8616 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Louis Lortie
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  • 6093.
    Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas Opp 13, 53, 81a / Louis Lortie
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9024 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Louis Lortie
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  • 6094.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto, Symphony No 10 / Gibson, Weller
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6501 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sharon Robinson,  Joseph Kalichstein,  Jaime Laredo
    Conductor:  Walter Weller,  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 6095.
    Daydreams - A Compilation Of Gentle Piano Music
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6537 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Louis Lortie,  Ernst Wallfisch,  Lydia Artymiw
    CD not available
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  • 6096.
    Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata;  Beethoven / Imai, Vignoles
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8664 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Nobuko Imai
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  • 6097.
    The Chandos Sound Experience - Compact Disc Sampler
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9007 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Zoltán Kodály,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Howard Shelley,  Louis Lortie,  Boris Berman,  Willard White  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Bryden Thomson,  Walter Weller,  Yan Pascal Tortelier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6098.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52632 Release Date: 10/27/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Leonard Bernstein,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 6099.
    Glenn Gould Edition - The Art Of Glenn Gould
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52694 Release Date: 10/27/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 6100.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435467 Release Date: 10/13/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $49.99
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